COVID-19’s Impact on Race and Housing Security Across Philadelphia: Philadelphia Renters Report

Read the full report  Racial and economic disparities in affordable housing existed long before the COVID-19 pandemic, and yet, new data from the US Census Bureau suggest that the pandemic and the ensuing economic fallout are only widening these divides. When paired with a global pandemic, we anticipate a national wave of homelessness that will…

Women holding out their arms, text: "Help Us Help Outselves so we can help others get free!!

Report: Supporting Women in the Criminal Legal System Through Access to Diversionary Programs

Today, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, as part of Incarcerated Women’s Working Group (“Working Group”) released a report on increasing access to diversionary programs for women in the criminal legal system. Diversion programs divert individuals accused of crimes away from traditional court trial and sentencing proceedings, instead requiring participation in community service, treatment, and other…

Black Survival Is Black History

The following post was written by Kee Tobar, Director of Race Equity & Inclusion at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia. Not too long ago I was asked for an elevator pitch concerning what Community Legal Services does within a racial justice context. At first it was hard to condense the many things we do into…

No Child Should Live in Deep Poverty: Strengthen TANF for PA Families and for Racial Justice

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federally-funded block grant that provides cash assistance to the poorest Pennsylvania families. Parents are required to actively look for work or participate in a job training program. TANF additionally provides support for children under 18 being cared for by grandparents or other relatives, and for survivors of…

Report: Racial Disparities in Access to Supplemental Security Income Benefits for Children

SSI for children is crucial support for families in need. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides critical financial support to people with disabilities who experience economic hardship, including 1.1 million children. SSI income is crucial not only because it can boost families out of poverty, but also because in many states, SSI recipients are automatically eligible…

Report: Breaking the Record: Dismantling the Barriers Eviction Records Place on Housing Opportunities

Each of the nearly 20,000 eviction complaints filed in Philadelphia Municipal Court each year carries a lifelong blemish on a person’s tenancy records, regardless of the outcome of the case. There is no presumption of innocence – even when a tenant wins in court or enters an amicable agreement to preserve housing, the filing alone…

CLS Releases Recommendations for the Biden-Harris Administration

Community Legal Services of Philadelphia (CLS), one of the largest and most respected legal services programs in the nation, congratulates President-Elect Joseph Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris on their successful election. As President-Elect Biden said in a recent speech: “We must make the promise of the country real for everybody — no matter their…